Last In Line: A Slide From Obama to Trump

  Read Last In Line, a thought provoking novel that tells of a young man’s accounts during President Barack Obama’s Inauguration. 

From “Preface”

 

An Inaugural Air: The Slide from Obama to Trump

 

 

Jamal Mtshali’s Last in Line: An American Destiny Deferred (African American Images, 2016) examines U.S. public policy’s role in reproducing racial inequality in America’s justice, education, health care, and economic systems. With Donald Trump’s inauguration, these structures are certain to be reinforced. Although anchored in data and research, Last in Line also seizes narrative to underscore the magnitude of racial disparity in America and the prevalence of the biases which drive it. This excerpt details then-18-year-old Mtshali’s attendance at Barack Obama’s first inauguration and his pensive reflection on the implications of that moment. It contrasts starkly with the ominous air surrounding Trump’s inauguration, an unequivocal confirmation of the doubt which compelled his writing of Last in Line.

 

I exited a cozy station and made my way through joint-stiffening, glacial treatment uncharacteristic of Maryland’s temperance. I marched Washington’s streets in throngs reminiscent of Roman legions, warming my hands with circles of merriment, singing and dancing an unprecedented episode of American communion. Ours was a 21st century Great March, not comprised of Americans calling for freedom but Americans heralding the freedom’s arrival.

 

As I walked the streets and lawns of Capitol Hill, I thought of my ancestors and their bondage beneath Old Glory. President Lincoln’s first inauguration was their auspice, the sign of a future in which their chains would be cast off and melted into material with which a new, free America would be cast. Paralyzing chills came not from January’s pricks and pierces, but the vision that my ancestors may have regarded Abraham Lincoln the way I on this day regarded Barack Obama.

 

A silhouette rose from the east; rays shone amid the multitudes along the Western front. “Not in my lifetime.” I couldn’t help recalling the words I, born a score and seven years following Freedom Summer, often spoke with a tone of practical resignation. My ancestors’ words came into my hands a truism and dissipated in inaugural air a platitude. A hurried gust brushed my 18-year-old face, bypassing it to seize and escort the falsehood elsewhere. It was persona non grata in presence of the revered utterance, “God bless the United States of America.”

 

A chuckle froze. It turned me. “Man—racism is finished. It is dead.” He gazed for seconds, a heavy grin complementing eyes radiating limitless optimism. He turned toward the projector in injected stiffness, freeze frame belying motion picture. I tried to mirror his effervescent smirk, but found paralysis—a pensive discomfort unbefitting, perhaps even insulting of, this moment.

 

For the rest of the afternoon as the world celebrated Barack Obama’s ascent to the Oval Office, I mulled that stranger’s words. Friends and family, some who witnessed the height of the Civil Rights Movement, marveled at images of the president and first lady greeting the nation. I could not marvel, for I could not help chewing that late twentysomething’s verse. It seemed to fly in the face of the dispiriting elements of American scripture I had known. Like the Book of James Byrd. Its ink dried when I was seven years old. What was that—solitary confinement? An outlying emblem of hatred long since banished from America’s heart? Given the experiences of my family members, my friends—even myself—I was reluctant to accept his prophecy. It seemed unfulfilled—his belief that race was anywhere near the finish line. I heard praises of victory but no buzzer flatlining us from scorched Earth to Eden’s divinity.

 

I entertained that he was perhaps right. Perhaps I’d glorified myself in some malcontent archetype, covering my eyes and ears as strange, partisan fruit of petulance. This was not James Byrd’s day—this was Barack Obama’s day. Reformation was upon us. This was America’s dawn, the day which would heal the sufferings of the multitudes—every James Byrd. America rejoiced in a new Pontifex Maximus—a man with whom I shared not only blackness but first-generation African descent—yet all I could do was groan. America saluted a black president hoisted by a variegated will, entertaining an era free of the sit-ins, bus boycotts, and freedom rides that convened about an operating table excising cancers threatening our Constitution with a threadbare fate. Many died for our sins, nailed to fiery crosses, mocked by unholy masses, blood-sacrificed unto Sodom’s devils. They rose from the dead in schools, neighborhoods, and colleges convoked in Christ’s name. The day of reckoning portended in the prophecy of resurrection dawned. I blasphemed. My wanton thoughts were libel, spilling blood upon consecrated soil.

 

As I walked Washington’s streets on inauguration day, disparity accosted me. Its profile was black—and in the neighborhood of a palace where, because of the discriminate acquiescence of mortgage lenders, a black man and his family would soon reside. Middle-aged black men idling on porches, frozen by January, arrested me. Children held me captive; I recoiled at clones made in my image a foot, one hundred pounds, and ten years prior taking baby steps that, with socks, shoes, and bootstraps, would be giant leaps. Young men bearing resemblance to the then-me mean-mugged—their cruel contortions perhaps originating from some intoxicant peddled by a kingpin on a far-away planet. Perhaps not so far.

 

Truth frisked; I had no right to resist. “These people”—my people— were not stuff of inanimate will, feral sentiment, and Petri dishes. Laziness, violence, pathology—measurements of the dark visage America struck and neglected—stared not with concrete savagery, but a graveled, dispossessed affect. Where men of titles and tailors saw feral children, I saw human sorrow. That sorrow harked to a familiar face—one of hard work, humility, and hope. I looked into those eyes, dark as my own, and saw the sorrow I, as a child, once saw slip from the eyes of my grandfather, a man born and reared in rural Georgia. It was a sorrow somewhat assuaged by his migration to Buffalo, New York, an exodus affording him, his family, and many black Southerners of the Great Migration some semblance of spirit. But no dam could contain such falls. I wondered if, on this day, the souls of black folk would at last be free.

 

On this day, Americans autopsied sorrow. We tested its vital signs. We placed our frozen fingers over its face, feeling no fumes. We grasped steel; its caged, rocking ribbing ceased. We declared it deceased. On the day of this great coronation, we designated ourselves licensed coroners; our degree of qualification became apparent as we declared racism’s death after determining its proper resting place. We dared to dream. Dream we can. But the dream is cruel fantasy. In this dream, there is no justice ruling against minorities and on behalf of injustice. In this dream, there is no euthanasia failing black organs, harvested both from poverty’s casualties and Jack and Jill card-carriers. In this dream, there is no birthing room denying admission to two black infants for every one white failing to thrive. In this dream, there is no executive shredding African American opportunity, shouting black credentials to double doors ex officio. In this dream, none of these figments permeate into present. Wrapping embalms King’s body from substance seeping to spoil the slumber deferring America’s awakening.

I entered a cozy station. Frostbite yielded to a sweltering wave fostering equilibrium. Its sheltering did not consummate with bodily homeostasis, but with consumption of the sacrament it bore. Spirit’s nourishment conceived Last in Line; it is sacrament for a greater body. I believed then and believe now, at the end of his presidency, what all Americans knew on that day—that President Obama’s election is both a symbol of change and a representation of our country’s potential for greatness. Where I, along with many Americans, diverge is in the belief that his election is far from a sign that America has salvaged its damaged soul, crediting its constitutional “master promissory note.” American masses have certified Barack Obama’s election a sign of long-awaited heaven on Earth. In doing so, these denominations perpetuate the strangely pernicious idea that racism is no more—and that to speak otherwise is to assume the dark mantle of the victim. On January 20, 2009, while American congregations, young and old, black and white, rejoiced in a dream, spirit commanded me to desert.

 

  Adapted from Jamal Mtshali’s Last in Line: An American Destiny Deferred, published by African American Images and available on Amazon. For more on the author, visit http://www.JamalMtshali.com. Follow Jamal on Twitter at @jtmtshali.

Black Judge Gets Called Racial Slur, After Defendant’s Bond Is Denied

On Monday, January , 2016, an African  American Judge, denied a drug offenders bond. The defendant  hurled a racial slur during the court proceedings. Supposedly, defendant , Adam Satterly gave him another 60 days in jail. According to the footage caught inside the court from. The defendant blurts out, “Punk Ass Ni**er,” as he is outside the courtroom.

Judge Olu Stevens states to him, “Oh you just didn’t mean it like that? Well, you don’t speak those words in here. I’m going to hold you in contempt of court and give you 60 days for having used that word. It’s disrespectful and don’t ever do it again.”

This is the first time something like this has happened in Steven’s courtroom. He is now being under review for his comments alleging that big time prosecutor  only wants an “all white jury” for black cases.

Re-segregation: A Step in the Wrong Direction

It is impossible not to notice the racial tensions that are growing within the United States as many Black Americas are enduring hardships and navigating their pent-up anger from the accumulation of racial injustices. Black Americans are justified in being fed up with how this country has handled race relations; however, to gain any substantial progress it is essential for the current generation to act wisely and deliberately as did the Civil Rights leaders of the past.  It is imperative that as Americans we understand that hate will not produce love, and that re-segregation will not get rid of inequalities. Recently I read an article on re-segregation where the basis of the article was simply stating that the author was for re-segregation because it would help specific racial communities flourish if that specific racial group were to simply ban together and exclude other racial groups. I disagree with this perspective for various reasons:

1). If people were to re-segregate, than the lines of communication and understanding would close.

It is sociologically proven that people naturally form prejudices, which are reinforced by a person’s social environment such as school, family, neighborhood, media etc. As a result of individual being shaped by society and close individuals around them, prejudices are naturally taught to them. This can be seen through certain images shown in the media such as the “dangerous Black male thug”, or racist jokes or memes told between friends. Such prejudices have real consequences as we have seen in current news headlines about racial profiling. Since people naturally form prejudices, the only way a prejudice can be refuted is by open dialogue and communication. It is known that in this society many fear Black men and women. If Blacks re-segregate, how will people realize that not all Black men and women are loud, angry, criminals looking for a fight? It is up to Blacks and all people of color to desegregate to therefore show that they are kind, intelligent, hardworking and trustworthy just like other racial groups that have those character traits automatically assigned to them. The only reason why the American Society has come so far in regards to racism is because institutionalized segregation was taken down for the most part. During the times where segregation was the norm, black people had no voice. If Blacks re-segregate, than we risk losing our voice. People learn through communication and new interactions and therefore if we de-segregate as much as possible we can reeducate those who accept the lies fed to them from the media and other social influences.

2). Re-segregation rejects everything that many during the 20th century Civil Rights Era fought for.

People gave their lives to eradicate segregation because they personally knew the negative effects it had on communities of color. If people segregate again, it will make it easier for institutionalized racism to perpetuate itself. Since power in this country is still with the White American majority, the images and ideas that are released into society are still controlled by those in power. This means that people of color will continue to not have equal representation or equal access to resources as the white majority does. Re-segregating would only make it easier for those in power to keep people of color down. The phrase “divide and conquer” comes to mind. If those in power are successful in dividing people of color against each other, than there will be no substantive progress. The Civil Rights Era as well as during the times of slavery had people from many racial backgrounds fight for equality. People of color as well as white Americans gave up their lives for racial equality. During those times of everyone (people of color and whites) banning together against institutionalized racism is when the Civil Rights movements were most productive.MEMORY B 08

3). Practice of “racial love” only helps to perpetuate racism.

I read an article explaining how an Asian man only would conduct business with other Asians, which therefore meant that he was practicing “Asian love”. I strongly disagree with this reasoning. Let’s put things into perspective. If a white store owner said “I only conduct business with white business owners”, he would obviously be looked at as a racist, all people of color need to be careful in not doing the same. Doing business with someone should not be contingent or race in general. People should do business with whomever meets the professional qualifications for the job. Hiring anyone or excluding anyone on the basis of race is discrimination.

By being inclusive, people naturally become exclusive. The solution is not to become more inclusive, however less inclusive to give everyone with the talent a chance to be successful. If we take the logic of “Black love, Mexican love, Asian love etc.” and to “engage business only with our own race” than can we really blame whites for doing so all throughout American History. People have already applied the concept of doing business only with “their own”, which is why there is such inequality in the United States today.

4). Desegregation has never fully been accomplished, which is why to some it may seem that desegregation has not worked.

Contrary to popular belief, segregation still exist in the United States, and is still very evident in a variety of social settings. Like I stated before, I attend Sacramento State, which is arguably one of the most diverse campuses in the United States. With this said, I still observe segregation every day. The segregation that I observe is not forced, however chosen by the people who knowingly or unknowingly engage in self-segregation. An example of what I am talking about is how although a campus may have diverse demographics, many tend to spend time with and engage in activities with members of the same race. In order for desegregation to truly be successful, the American society must first truly desegregate, and by doing so it would truly breed a greater understand and a collective push for equality.

Solutions?

Instead of re-segregating, communities need to unite, and not on the basis of race. The problem does not lie in being desegregated, however it lies in the fact that many have adopted the mindset of looking out only for “me and mine” rather than looking to see how they can help those around them and increase the standard of living for all. It is dangerous to believe that in the United States racial groups should simply stick together. The concept of re-segregation should not be adopted because it puts the solution on turning inwards and banning together. To adequately produce a greater understanding open communication with all racial groups is essential to produce lasting results that work for the good of everyone.

I believe that the authors of the articles I have read are actually trying to address a different problem that is within the Black community. Members of the black community should not pull each other down like crabs in a barrel, but rather up lift and support each other. An example of what I mean can be seen in numerous real world examples such as skin tone and hair texture.

Growing up, I have heard many men exclaim “I only date light-skinned Black girls”. This single phrase works to tear down some black members and elevate others within the Black community, and is therefore problematic because it illustrates a blatant rejection of Black qualities such as dark skin, while reaching towards physical White attributes such as light skin.

I read an interesting book by Beverly Tatum called “Why Are all of the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”. In her book she stated how spending time with members of your own race is beneficial, however it ultimately depends on the motives. If a person is exclusively spending time with their own race to simply reject all that is associated with another race, than it is counterproductive. However, if a person decides to spend some time with members of their own race to encourage each other regarding racial struggles, than it is beneficial.

Black Americans should share who they are with those who do not understand them, or with those who only know the Black stereotypes shown to them in the media . Doing so would debunk the fearful and negative stereotypes that people have about the black community and in result breed acceptance and understanding from all racial groups. To sum it up, open communication is key, and communication comes from de-segregation and seeking multiracial interactions.

As racial tensions increase in this country, it is important to not self-segregate, but to show the love of Jesus to everyone. To love your enemies and to forgive as we have been forgiven. There is evil in this world, however the Bible says:

Romans

AA woman w nat hair

Kinky Small Talk with Bessie

WP_20140730_001 (1)

By Destiny Bryant

Oh, small talk. Probably invented by the same bastard that also created the appetizer. Why go straight to the good when we can create an awkward transition to it? I hate, dislike, no extremely dislike small talk. It’s like a closed caste system with near every topic discussed is so repetitive and dull it’s a forced routine. Perhaps small talk is just an art I have yet to master. Or I manage to get the short stick every time I partake in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for meeting new people and exchanging information, but small talk really seems to to slow that down when it comes to developing relationships.

Developing Relationships

Relationships are built on memories, time spent together and the like. So, surprisingly there is little if not nothing to say of the first encounter with someone because there is no foundation for you to work with. The foundation is being built. But humans are social creatures and every relationship was once just a pair of strangers. They had to start somewhere. Someone had to make that awkward first move and get the ball rolling. And what’s the quickest and most effective way to do that? Get the other person to talk about themselves.

With that in mind people usually start off with the physical basics. In my case, that’s usually my afro (I named it Bessie.) Most people especially upon their first encounter with me are very curious about Bessie and how she goes about life. They can’t help but ask in wonder.

Bessie

WP_20140827_007 (1)Bessie’s been through a lot. She’s traveled from sector to sector throughout the hair empire. From braids to extensions relaxers, she’s seen it, done it, and has quite a few nightmares stories to share about it. One day, I was so fed up and thought, “Why don’t I let Bessie do what she was going to do anyway?” Fast forward five years and Bessie has been doing just that. Chilling on top of my head following the destiny assigned to her by good ol’ biology. Newcomers want to know of Bessie’s travels. They think they hide it well but over years I’ve learned to see the signs. They ask the same questions.

“How long is your hair when straight?”

Maybe because the hair standard is straight so they need to know as a means of conversion? Like going from the standard to the metric system? Either way, I don’t wear my hair straight so this question comes off as pointless to me. However, I ballpark it for them because I know the answer will keep them up at night otherwise.

“No way! It’s not that long!”

Usually a response to the question above, the curious bystander suddenly becomes the all-natural hair extraordinaire in all of sixty seconds. (They do have a master’s degree in the subject you know.) Their knowledge, experience, and depth in the matter spread so far and wide that they are more than qualified to answer the question their damn selves and only asked you because they wanted to see if you knew. You failed and now they are giving you the correct answer for future reference. After all, how could you know that about your own hair? It’s not like it’s your hair that you’ve had your whole life to become familiar with it while they only known your Bessie for three minutes tops. Tisk, Tisk. You should’ve studied. Thank goodness this fine specimen of person has a master’s degree and the means is here to give you the answer. Whatever would we do without their guidance? Be lost in space and time that’s what.

I’d imagine that I come off as some self-righteous dodo bird who takes things too seriously. I have a habit of making a terrible first impression on people. In all seriousness though, I come in peace and I’m sure those on the other side do as well. It’s just that the ideologist in me can’t help but wonder and fascinated by the impact culture has on even the smallest bits of conversation.

Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin

Killing Our Black Community

Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, Rodney King, Malice Green, Renisha McBride and several others all have one thing in common. They have all died to either police brutality or because of some malicious acts caused by some insensitive human beings. It seems our black community is dying at such an alarming rates. These names have began to slowly fade away because mainstream media  doesn’t want us to remember these individuals. It is truly sad that we have reverted back to the 1940s where segregation was running rapid in the cities. If you honestly, think about it we are reliving past times. Marching, rioting, protesting and demanding justice for fallen angels who were unarmed targets to police who treated them like animals.  But when we are losing four or more African Americans within a month or two of it self it’s incredibly ridiculous.

Mike Brown unarmed teen, shot down by police
Mike Brown

Michael Brown, was an unarmed teen, who was shot down by the hands of the police due to  an alleged robbery. He was supposed to start college in a couple of weeks.

 

 

John Crawford fatally shot because he was carrying a toy gun at Wal-Mart
John Crawford

John Crawford, was a young father of 22 years of age that was fatally shot in the chest after failing to adhere to officers orders of dropping his BB gun which he planned to purchase from Walmart.

 

 

Eric Garner
Eric Garner

Eric Garner, was a family man who suffered from asthma, officers tried to arrest him and while he resisted, they threw him to the ground and placed him in a chokehold. Garner, while in no position to move, cried out that he couldn’t breathe and tried to reach for an inhaler while officers mistakenly took for a gun. His death was ruled a homicide and video has now become viral.

Renisha McBride
Renisha McBride

Renisha McBride, was a young lady who crashed her car in the middle of the night, and was seeking help, knocked on the door and window of a middle age Caucasian man at his Dearborn Heights home, in Michigan. The shooter Theodore Wafer, fired through the door, which McBride endured a shot to the face. Wafer has just been convicted for second degree murder, manslaughter, and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. He was found guilty on all three charges on August 7, 2014.

Ezell Ford
Ezell Ford

Ezell Ford, a mentally ill man, who was walking down the street while he was stopped by police for investigation. According to reports, Ford wrested with cops and attempted to grab an officers gun. The backup officers shot him, while the other officer while wrestling with Ford shot him and he later died.

Dante Parker
Dante Parker

Dante Parker, was tased by a female police officer after she mistakenly identified him as a burglary suspect, because he supposedly fit the description of someone who did,  because he was riding a bike, just as the actual suspect was. But the family man, worked 12 years at a Daily Press Paper as a pressman in their production department. Comments from family friends and co-workers say Parker often rode his bike, to lose weight and stay healthy, that he’d many times could be found running up and down stairs, and simply being a family man. He was apprehended by police who tased him because she felt he was resisting arrest meanwhile in the back seat of the police car Parker had difficulties breathing, so they rushed him to the hospital, but he like many others, also died.

There are so many faces that have died to foolishness. Why aren’t these cops, and citizens prosecuted through the fullest extent of the law? If anything they are forced to step down and take on desk duty. The worse part is no one cares enough about the black community. I can say Reverend Al Sharpton comes and speaks out about the injustices we face. But where all the influential voices in music and film. These are the people that can change the opinions of our young people. We watch young people spend hundreds of dollars on products and clothes from rich and successful entertainers yet when incidents like this happen we rarely hear anything from them. Now I am not saying it is their responsibility. But an injustice in an urban community is an injustice anywhere. Perhaps, their music could influence some type of change. Since we know the influence of Hip Hop already has on the young black community.

I don’t know when the killings of Blacks will ever end. But what I do know there is no respect at all in the black community. They are finding  new ways to kill us off.  If we aren’t killing each other, they’re murdering us. Until we decide to finally come together and unite as a community we will continue to get treated like animals with no voice. We have to remember the words and actions of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hopefully, one day people will finally see us as ordinary people with thoughts, feelings and opinions just like anybody else. I pray for a day where we aren’t victims of racial profiling and truly respected individuals of society.

Remember, YOU MATTER, Let’s Stop Injustice

natural hair style

Are Black Women Beautiful?

 

In today’s modern world, society will have you second guessing everything about yourself, from your looks to your personality. With the current trends of what is considered sexy through the media, you’ll be thinking reality TV stars and video vixens are the ideal beauty to aim for to get a man’s attention. But what kind of attention are we truly seeking? Are we getting him to respect us? First,  are we even respecting ourselves as young ladies? The current “twerking” fad has women dancing like crazed strippers in just about anywhere. Have we gotten so desperate for love that we will showcase all of our assets to the man before the first date. But yet wonder why he won’t commit to marriage? Perhaps we are sharing too much of ourselves before we can really say this is the right one for us.

As a culture that got robbed of it’s heritage and roots we surely are quick to put another nationality’s hair in our head. Now I’m not talking down about weave. I’m sure as women we’ve all worn our fair share of it. What I am saying is if you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror without your “Beauty Supply” hair and truly love what is staring back at you, then you’ve completely lost yourself in society’s vision of “beautiful.” The person you are inside is hurting and is in dire need of emotional repair.  Even the women who are braving the butt injections or bleaching their skin. We all have some things we want to work on but when it comes down to mutilating your own body and distorting your image, the vision that God had when He created you. Then yes, things have gotten out of control.

Beyoncé has a song entitled, “Pretty Hurts,” where we see Beyoncé going through great lengths to become the star, the top beauty queen.  We also even see another female swallowing cotton balls. Beyoncé paints this picture that she is happy but yet in the inside she is suffering from bulimia and clearly isn’t satisfied with herself.

beyonce-pretty-hurts-ss

The lyrics, “Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worse. Perfection is the disease of the nation…it’s the soul that needs the surgery,” weighs deeply.

We as women should truly take the time to love and pamper ourselves. We are strong, we carry the life of the next generation. We hold the household down when things become a bit challenging. We must fight ten times harder than a man to be successful in the workplace, but I can assure you we’re just as qualified if not better. It’s time we let our light shine bright, lift our head up high and realize that we are the prize. Once the princess and now a queen, have him show you how he needs you. Not the other way around. Men, that get it easy, usually leave just as easy.

quote to live by

So take out the weave sometimes, the make-up, the “I don’t care about the world” attitude. Do a true self-reflection. Ask yourself. Are you really happy with what you see? Are you loving what’s inside of me? Time to take off the mask that is beginning to cast this dark shadow of keeping us women from truly admiring our natural beauty.

Black America: A Documentary Film

Documentary Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell
Documentary Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell

BLACK AMERICA: A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY RANDALL RYDELL RUSSELL

Sacramento Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell brings us a documentary about the struggles and search for hope in America when people still judge by the color of our skin. Black America will be released later this year.

50 Shades Of Black

Our Black Is Beautiful

Lauren London
Lauren London
Tiki Sumpter
Tiki Sumpter

Two women of color, both very talented actresses and models

ranging from light to dark and are both equally beautiful.

The “Paper Bag” Test, “skillet,” “tar-baby,” “light -bright,” what do all of these words have in common. They are all derogatory terms once used to describe women and men of color. Stripped of our afro-centric culture and forced to adapt to a European lifestyle. It gets hard to remember who you are and where you stand. The media doesn’t do the best job of portraying all the shades of black women on TV, for men YES! Let’s take, Denzel, Don Cheadle, Idris Alba, Morris Chestnut, Samuel Jackson, Omar Epps, Mekhi Phifer, Terrence Howard, Michael Ealy, Shemar Moore, Will Smith and many many more, whom I didn’t mention. These men range from dark to light and it is perfectly acceptable for them to be in the media.

Whereas, with the ladies, things are quite different, now we have plenty of talented actresses in the biz who may get passed over for roles possibly due to looks or sex appeals. When I think about the shades of black during many modern day TV sitcoms such as, ‘Martin’ Gina, (Tisha Campbell) the starring female role, Pam, (Tichina Arnold) the supporting role, who always seemed to have a ‘problem keeping a man’ Or ‘The Game,’ Melanie Barnett-Davis,(Tia Mowry-Hardict) and Janay(Gabrielle) Melanie plays Derwin’s wife while Janay is the ‘Baby-Momma’ so to speak. Is there any reason why the darker skin get secondary roles while fairer skin get starring roles….

Let’s not stop there, as pretty and talented as Kelly Rowland is she will probably not reach Beyonce’s status NOT BECAUSE of lack of talent but society has been brainwashed to believe that lighter is better. Don’t believe me, just watch as almost all professional athletes are married to high light or white women NOT ALL! I will say that! But a vast majority. Nothing wrong with being with the one you love but there are plenty single sistahs that would take care of them just the same.

When I watched an old show of, ‘Tyra’ when black women were bleaching their skin and the skin of their kids. I thought what a travesty that these women self esteem has sunk so low that they would risk damaging their own skin just to fit in with society. Granted society does make it hard to be who you are, dreads, braids, or cornrows usually aren’t the norm for Corporate America but it is who we are. I feel a bit angry that during those times of slavery we were stripped of our heritage and roots and language. I hope that we can one day look deep down inside ourselves and truly love who we are the way we are.

Men step up and be men, brothers step up and give credit where credit is due. Stop making women single mothers, remember fellas, if she not good enough to be your wife don’t make her a mother. Women, stop chasing money, status and thugs, they usually aren’t father material. Nothing wrong with the NICE brother that treats you right, treats your kid(s) like his own, he is NOT too nice maybe he loves you and God has sent him your way for a reason. Don’t block the blessing. Also, ladies, please STOP giving other sisters the ‘mean eye’ . Let’s all respect each other and leave the cattiness and petty jealousy at home. Being jealous of what another woman has stops you from achieving your own blessings because God don’t like ugly and wants you with a pure heart and soul.

We are all beautiful through God’s perfection! Be blessed, lovelies!

-JM